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Entries in Law Enforcement (180)


FreeKeeneNews - Manchester Activists To Protest DUI Checkpoint Tonight 

Manchester Activists to Protest DUI Checkpoint Tonight

Dozens of activists will converge in downtown Manchester starting at 10:00 p.m. tonight to divert traffic away from a sobriety checkpoint planned by Manchester Police Department. Activists are protesting the stopping of drivers without reasonable suspicion of having committed a crime. They are also protesting the federal government's involvement in local policing through federal grants used to fund the checkpoint.

Joël Valenzuela
(602) 510-9966

MPP - Fmr. Drug Cop to Support Marijuana Bill at N.H. Senate Hearing (4/7)

Former Narcotics Officer to Testify in Support of Marijuana Decriminalization Bill TOMORROW (Tue.) at New Hampshire Senate Committee Hearing


At 9 a.m. ET, immediately prior to the hearing, Maj. Neill Franklin will join Rep. Adam Schroadter and Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project at a news conference to express support for HB 618, which would replace potential jail time with a civil fine for possession of small amounts of marijuana


CONCORD — A former narcotics officer will testify at a New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday in support of a bill to remove criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana.


At 9 a.m. ET, immediately prior to the hearing, Maj. Neill Franklin, a 34-year law enforcement veteran and executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), will join Rep. Adam Schroadter (R-Newmarket) and Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project at a news conference in the lobby of the Legislative Office Building. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 9: 40 a.m. ET in Room 100 of the State House.


HB 618, sponsored by Rep. Schroadter and a bipartisan group of seven co-sponsors, would make possession of up to one-half ounce of marijuana punishable by a civil fine of $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense, and up to $500 for third and subsequent offenses. Currently, possession of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000. New Hampshire is the only state in New England that treats simple marijuana possession as a criminal offense with the potential for jail time. 


The House of Representatives approved the measure 297-67 on March 11.

“New Hampshire is the only state in New England that still doles out criminal records and jail time for simple marijuana possession,” said Simon, a Goffstown resident and New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “People’s lives should not be turned upside down just for possessing a substance that is less harmful than alcohol.


 “We hope the Senate and Gov. Hassan will join the overwhelming majority of the House — and the overwhelming majority of New Hampshire voters — in supporting this modest proposal.”


WHAT: News conference and New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee hearing regarding HB 618, which would remove criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana


WHEN: Tuesday, April 7, news conference at 9 a.m. ET, hearing at 9:40 a.m. ET


WHERE: News conference in lobby of the New Hampshire Legislative Office Building, 33 N. State St., Concord; hearing in Room 100 of the State House, 107 North Main St., Concord


WHO: Rep. Adam Schroadter (R-Newmarket), primary sponsor of HB 618

Maj. Neill Franklin, executive director, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Matt Simon, New England political director, Marijuana Policy Project

Others TBA


FreeKeeneNews - Video of Keene "Swatting" 

Video of Keene Police "Swatting"


Thursday night Keene police received a call from a man claiming to be holding hostages at gunpoint inside 39 Central Square. As a result, at least eight officers (some toting M4 ricfles) surrounded the building. Later, the BEARCAT rolled up and at least eight more officers, armed up with SWAT gear, piled out and entered via the front door.

Multiple liberty activists responded to the scene after local independent journalist Jared Goodell posted the news that armed police were on Central Square. (Goodell’s personal facebook profile is quickly becoming a go-to destination for breaking news in Keene.) Keene police kept the initial call from the alleged hostage-taker off of their two-way radio system, in what was the beginning of a campaign to preclude the public from actually knowing anything about what was happening in their midst.

All people in the streets knew was the police were hiding behind brick walls, brandishing guns and observing the block of buildings that includes 39 Central Square. To their credit, the Keene police were not preventing people from taking the risk of walking downtown, but they were at the same time not informing anyone about the risk that may have been present.

When asked, multiple pairs of the officers surrounding the building would deny any knowledge of why they were there. Why lie? After I asked three sets of officers what was happening, I finally got the barest minimum of information out of Michael “Pepper” Kopcha. He admitted there may be a situation in the building, but again, gave no information as to what danger may be present.

There are arguments both for and against how they responded, but there’s no good reason to keep people in the dark about what is happening, especially if they want people to believe they are “serving and protecting” them. An argument favoring their response tactics is that you can’t be too careful in a hostage situation and therefore the police responded appropriately. An argument against their tactics is that they had no real intel on what was happening besides the claim of someone on the phone, and as a result inconvenienced everyone in the building as they went room-to-room, floor-by-floor and cleared the premises.

What if the caller wanted to see how police would respond and used the data collected to walk them into a trap next time? What if the caller wanted to distract the police from an actual crime being committed across town? How many officers were available for other calls when nearly twenty were on-scene? Further, what if the caller was actually with the police and made the false call to give police a reason to demand access to peoples’ homes?

The standard explanation is that these “swatting” calls are made by some teenage or twenty-something prankster who just wants to harass the target location. Of course, with adrenaline-fueled cops, these swatting pranks could cost the building’s inhabitants their lives, if, for instance, a trigger-happy cop shoots someone for holding a camera the cop thought was a gun.

The caller in this case, according to the Sentinel, claimed to have hostages, gave a location, demanded money, and hung up. Is that justification for this level of response? What do you think the proper response should be to a phoned-in claim of hostages being held at gunpoint?

Whatever the proper response, the Keene police should inform the people of what is going on rather than putting people at risk from their ignorance.

Feel free to get in touch with me if you have questions or would like to interview an activist,
Ian Freeman


“With more than 4,500 crimes on the books and a federal prison system that has grown 750 percent since 1980, it is time for Washington to act.”

America Needs To Stop Jailing So Many Non-Violent Offenders
By Rick Perry
The Federalist
April 1, 2015
Click Here To Read

There’s a growing debate in America today about criminal-justice reform, and the best way to address non-violent, drug-related crimes. Unfortunately, nationwide our focus has centered more on growing our prison populations than on getting to the root cause of these crimes: addiction.

This has taken its toll in many ways, from the families that are torn apart when a loved one is sent to jail to the taxpayers who are left footing an ever-increasing bill for our criminal-justice systems.

But there is a better way. I am a firm believer that the states are laboratories of innovation—that, given the flexibility, they will implement policies that work most efficiently to address the needs of their citizens. And the criminal-justice debate is no different.

Consider the Texas Experience with Criminal-Justice Reform

I know this first-hand. You see, Texas was one of many states that spent billions locking up kids for minor offenses. In jail, these individuals learned how to become hardened criminals. Out of jail, they often repeated their crimes.

The result was a significant fiscal burden on taxpayers and a segment of society shut out from hope and opportunity. And while arrests for violent and property offenses steadily declined throughout the 1990s, drug-related arrests increased by more than 60 percent. We knew we needed to do something, and do it quickly. That’s why, when John Creuzot, a Democratic judge from Dallas, shared an idea that would change the way we handled cases of first-time, non-violent drug offenders, I listened.

As the founder of one of the first drug courts in Texas, Creuzot argued that, for many low-risk, non-violent offenders, incarceration is not the best solution, and can increase the odds that an individual will commit additional crimes after release. Just as importantly, he emphasized that by treating addiction as a disease, rather than simply punishing the crimes it compels, we could give new hope to people trying to get their lives back.

His evidence was compelling. Recidivism in his program was 68 percent lower than other state courts, and every dollar he spent saved $9 in future costs. So in 2007, with broad support from Republicans and Democrats, Texas changed course.

Here’s What We Did that Worked

We expanded our commitment to drug courts that allow offenders to stay out of jail if they agreed to comprehensive supervision, drug testing, and treatment. We invested more in treatment and rehabilitation programs for drug addiction and mental illness, and shifted our focus to diversionary programs like community supervision. We reformed our approach to parole, imposing graduated sanctions for minor violations instead of immediate re-incarceration.

We also implemented common-sense policies, such as allowing individuals to earn their way off probation through exemplary conduct and by achieving benchmarks, such as obtaining a degree. We passed legislation allowing nonviolent offenders to earn up to 20 percent of their terms by completing treatment and vocational programs proven to reduce recidivism.

The results have been extraordinary. Texas’s crime rate has dropped to its lowest point since 1968 and, during my tenure, Texas’ crime rate shrank by almost 24 percent. In fact, for the first time in state history, Texas is closing prisons without replacing them—three units since 2011. On top of that, this more efficient approach has saved Texas taxpayers $2 billion.

The Best Benefits Are Personal

But perhaps the most significant result is the countless individuals and families who are better off today because these Texans were given a chance to minimize the damage they had done to their lives. And for some people, a chance is all they really need.

We need more of this forward-thinking policy making around the country to continue to improve our criminal-justice system, which is why I have joined Right on Crime in the fight for criminal-justice reform.

Their focus on individual liberty, personal responsibility, transparency, and limited government is the foundation for the type of real, life-changing reform that benefits all Americans. By working with policy makers and conservative leaders in dozens of states to provide conservative solutions for their individual challenges, we all benefit.

These efficiencies don’t end at the state level. The smart policies in states like Texas, Georgia, and Mississippi can also have a significant impact on the federal criminal-justice system. With more than 4,500 crimes on the books and a federal prison system that has grown 750 percent since 1980, it is time for Washington to act.

Right on Crime is on the forefront of defining what it means to be smart on criminal justice. I look forward to working with them to make America freer, safer, and truer to our core values of limited government and personal responsibility.










CONCORD, N.H. – The State Department of Safety announced today new rules and training allowing law enforcement personnel to more easily obtain a license to administer life-saving doses of Narcan to citizens experiencing an opioid overdose.


“The rising rate of heroin and opioid overdoses is one of the most pressing public health and safety challenges facing our state,” Governor Hassan said. “By creating a new license level that would allow all trained police officers the option of carrying Narcan, we can increase the safe and effective use of this life-saving emergency treatment and enhance our ongoing efforts to ensure the health and safety of our communities.”


The new rules and training are in response to the top recommendation made by the Governor’s Strategic Task Force on Preventing Death from Opioid Overdose, that is, to get Narcan into the hands of more police and fire personnel, Deborah Pendergast, director of state fire standards and training and emergency medical services, said.


“Increasing the availability of Narcan saves lives,” Pendergast said. “However, current state law prohibits non-licensed personnel from administering the drug. The new licensing rules extend the opportunity for licensure to law enforcement personnel and ultimately get Narcan to people in need more quickly.”


The majority of fire departments already have personnel who qualify for licensure under the old rules, Pendergast said. The focus of the new rules was to add local police to the response effort, she said.


“This has been a collaborative effort between the Governor’s Office, the Department of Safety and local police departments,” Nick Mercuri, chief of state bureau of emergency medical services, said. “Under the new rules, law enforcement personnel must receive training in CPR, first-aid and Narcan administration to be eligible for a license. These three areas of training will best prepare law enforcement personnel to treat an overdose.”


Under the prior rules, law enforcement personnel would have to complete about 100 hours of training to obtain a license, Mercuri said. By narrowing the training to focus only on overdose treatments, the training can be completed in about 8 hours, he said.


“The more focused training best serves the public need by getting Narcan into the hands of police officers quickly,” Richard Crate, president of the New Hampshire association of chiefs of police, said. “Under the prior rules, the training went well beyond what officers typically needed in the field.”